President’s message: Measures that matter

Lyn Brown

What matters gets measured and what is measured gets done.

Like many veteran CPRS members, I grew up with this proviso, defined initially by deadlines and column inches, then by the financial, regulatory, sales and engagement metrics of business.

I was drawn to journalism then to communications by natural curiosity, a good pen and the drive to make a difference. I briefly flirted with being a war correspondent but on self-reflection concluded I was neither brave nor idealistic enough to knowingly risk being caught in “friendly fire” in my quest for truth.

Instead I became a lifelong learner and business communicator. I added political science and an MBA to a journalism diploma, all the while absorbing on-the-job advice of wise peers and savvy mentors. Along the way, the management fundamentals of public relation – research, analysis, communication, evaluation – became deeply ingrained in my approach. It also became apparent that public relations hold the key to strong, authentic leadership in all departments, disciplines and industries.

I came to understand that trusted relationships define the bright line between groupwork, common in organizations, and teamwork which is downright magical. The heads, hands and heart experience that defines fully engaged employees and volunteers is how lifelong friendships, worldwide professional networks, and enriching careers are forged.

Celebrating big and small milestones with people you learn from, rely upon, and that propel you to grow and be better, simply can’t be topped. Yet it’s a two-way street that starts with honest self-awareness. Knowing and bringing our best self – professionally and personally – to a shared purpose and mission is not a promise to which others hold us accountable. We hold that bar of commitment for ourselves and we’re the first to know when it slides.

Surveys and opinion polls can measure collective sentiment, but only you can gauge how and when your own engagement needs to be refreshed, replenished and renewed. In this year when nothing seems certain, invest in the gift of self-awareness. Stay tuned to your own engagement level – whether in your job or with whom and where you volunteer. It’s a measure that will pay forward your entire career.

As always, my virtual door is open!

Stay healthy and safe, Lyn

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